Some visitors from Holland are here, and the conversation today touched on the tree that is linked to Anne Frank. How interesting! Also, the realisation that Dutch wooden clogs and windmills and other features that we so quickly associate with the country of Holland may or may not be so evident today. Whatever it is, the first diary I ever read was not mine; it belonged to another teenage girl, and yes, they were the personal writings of a teenage Jewish girl by the name of Anne Frank. Her writings, so honest and so strongly expressed, captured my imagination, as it would much later many other literary works by many more gifted writers. Praise God!
‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ was a popular book for us when we were encouraged to read and write in our first year in secondary school. It was to be the start of my love for reading and writing in the years to come. Thank God for the teacher who taught me Literature made it so interesting and so applicable to life that I found myself beginning what I now know to be journaling. How apt! Since then I have not stopped writing and with so many years of keeping a diary each year, I can really thank God for his marvellous gift of writing from the heart. It is not only almost effortless but rewarding. It works well for a lover of solitude, for one thing, and for another, there is always much to ponder over. I thank God for this charism of writing.
It was therefore with joy that I discovered later on much more about Anne Frank. Dear Anne never dreamed that her personal accounts would be read by the public. One does not write a diary with the hope of having it discovered and published after all. I wonder how many more people have, like me, been inspired to keep a diary because of the one a young girl in captivity had written. The young mind is an active mind and an inspiring diary of a young teenage girl in captivity can work wonders.
Since then I am glad to have discovered even more diaries which serve to inspire me in my journey of life. I must mention the diary of St Faustina of Poland. Her diary is filled with teachings and some of them were revelations by Jesus to her, especially the ones on the virtue of silence, humility and obedience. As a young religious, she was given many good lessons and all her lessons are still relevant today. How many are the people who have also learnt from her! Certainly we can all take lessons from this Polish saint.
One of the many lessons is the value of prayer. It is for everyone, saint in the making and sinner alike. No soul can dispense with this important link to the divine. We worship God, and we want to build our relationship with him. To do so, praying to God would be a key factor, and don’t we all have that need since we are mere creatures on the journey of faith? Yes, we are mere creatures in many ways but in a special way, we are children of God and that makes us terribly precious!